Half a million of mussels found died in unusually balmy waters on the New Zealand coast. The massive “die-off” is being considered as a consequence of climate change by the experts. Auckland man Brandon Ferguson found the dead molluscs first.
He posted a video on social media wading through rock pools choked almost knee-deep with mussels shells. “They are all dead….there’s nothing left,” he said.
A marine ecologist at Waikato University, Professor Battershil recalled a similar die-off in recent years involving tuatua cockles and clams. He told sources, “The common denominators seem to be really hot conditions with lots of sunlight and unusually calm waters for an extended period,” he told AFP.
“This leads to a combination of heat stress and the animals running out of oxygen because the water’s so still. They eventually succumb… they’re effectively cooked alive.”
According to him, the extreme conditions were unusual. “Is it related to climate change, I think it is,” he said.
“Mussels are hardy little animals — you think about when they’re harvested they survive in the supermarket with just a little water on them.
“So it’s taken extreme conditions to kill them. And when you have a number of die-offs in recent years involving a number of species then you really need to sit up and take notice.”